Would you be interested in a free source of fertilizer for your garden? You would? Then stop flushing it away!
Every time you flush your urine down the toilet, you’re wasting precious water resources. You’ll also be causing pollution — the high levels of nitrogen in urine cause problems when they’re released into rivers and streams, but removing nitrogen from water is an energy–intensive and expensive process.
Urine is a valuable source of plant nutrients – mainly nitrogen with small amounts of phosphorus and potassium and other minerals. It has a carbon to nitrogen ratio of 0.8 to 1, which makes it an excellent compost activator if your compost heap is filled with carbon rich materials.
You can even use urine as a liquid feed for your plants. It’s too strong to use neat, dilute it with at least 5 parts water, and water the soil around your plants, not the leaves. Urine is acidic, and salty, so don’t add too much to any one part of the garden– spread it around!
The plants that will appreciate a dose of nitrogen most are the hungry ones, which grow quickly. In the kitchen garden, try it on leafy vegetables and corn. Avoid using it on tomatoes and other fruiting vegetables when they’re flowering or growing fruit. Too much nitrogen encourages leafy growth, not bountiful crops.
Use your urine fresh. Once it starts to smell, it’s converting nitrogen into ammonia. Not only it is smelly, but the nitrogen content is literally escaping!
There is no need to worry about spreading disease — urine is generally clean, and you can’t give yourself a disease you don’t already have. If you’re particularly worried about infections, then compost your urine and add its fertility to your garden that way. Don’t add urine to worm compost bins, though, the worms won’t like it!
If you’re worried about what the neighbors will think, then don’t tell them! But using urine as a free source of fertilizer in your garden isn’t as old-fashioned as you might think. In fact it’s downright space age! NASA have used urine as a source of plant nutrients in their hydroponics systems.